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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

8.5

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,276.00
Average Mileage:
106,612 miles
Total Complaints:
371 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (115 reports)
  2. ford needs to recall their faulty transmission (114 reports)
  3. complete rebuild (78 reports)
  4. new tranmission (46 reports)
  5. new solenoid, pistol in tranny broken (11 reports)
  6. new solenoid (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 19)

problem #371

May 302014

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,765 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Just bought this vehicle 3 weeks ago, and one week after I bought it, the service engine light came on. I didnt have the time to have it serviced right away, but now the O/D light is flashing too. I just brought it to the transmission shop, and they told me it will be $1800.00 to repair the transmission. Ive been reading alot of info online, and find out that this tranny in the this vehicle is known for its problems, and Ford is doing nothing to help out with the repairs. From what Ive read, this is a very widespread problem with Explorer owners and a very expensive problem to repair. Ford must know that this transmission is a piece of crap, and they should stand behind their product. We need a recall from Ford .

- , Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #370

Jan 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Bought a 2002 Ford Explorer new in 2002, 1st new car that I ever owned. In the 1st year the back window hinge broke twice and had it replaced. Then the back panel with the Ford Emblem cracked in two twice and now the O/D light is on and the transmission is slipping and lurching. I had it checked and was told it was a sensor in the trans. and was told it would cost $400.00 for part and $400.00 for labor and THAT was not guaranteed that would fix the problem. I was told to fix the O/D light would be a new trans for 2600 dollars.

YES FORD SHOULD RECALL THESE TRANS BECAUSE OF ALL THE COMPLAINTS THERE ARE .HELL, THERE'S NOT EVEN A PLACE TO CHECK WITH A DIPSTICK. DIDN'T KNOW THAT WHEN I BOUGHT IT AND WON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN.

- , Pinnacle, NC, USA

problem #369

Dec 062013

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I have 2 children and it is very dangerous for the transmission to be clipping like that i could be rear ended or anything when it starts acting up. I definitely think ford needs to do a recall on their transmission and fix this problem. This is the first ford I've ever owned and it will definitely be my last. I have already put over 500 dollars into fixing this problem and it didn't fix it. VERY upset with ford. Ill be buying dodge from now on.

- , Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #368

Apr 092014

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

If this is a widespread problem as it appears to be, Ford needs to recall and fix these cars.

- , New Boston, MI, USA

problem #367

Nov 302013

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

It is obvious how prevalent this problem is with this make, year, and model. Own up to your default, Ford!

- , Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #366

Jan 022014

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

O/D light blinking and transmission slipping. Took it to a few "transmission experts." Price to rebuild ranges from 1400-3800 depending on the crooks . Plus, you have to leave the car with them for 3-4 days . And since you're not seeing what they're doing, you don't know if all that's needed in some minor work and you're getting charged for major work. You just don't know. I already had a rebuilt engine put in and new wheel bearings .

Ford knew what they were doing . They knew this cars transmission would break down after so many miles.

They should be held responsible for selling a defective vehicle. All of these vehicles should be recalled.

A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT IS WHAT'S NEEDED !

- , Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #365

Dec 182013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The O/D light kept blinking O/D Off. Vehicle started to shake and slow down to a crawl. Was able to drive it to my Ford dealership. I was told that my transmission was shot and that I had two repair options:

1. Rebuilt transmission-----Cost $2,200

2. New transmission---Cost $4,200

I take care of my cars and had all of the regular checkups done at the dealership. This vehicle only has 112,000 miles on it. THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS TRANSMISSION SHOULD HAVE GONE OUT IN THE CAR. READ A REPORT THAT SHOWED 412 COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE TRANSMISSIONS IN FORD EXPLORERS FROM THE YEARS 2000 TO 2004 WERE PROBLEMS. RECEIVED NOTHING IN THE MAIL ABOUT THIS. AM VERY UPSET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is our 4th Ford product that we have purchased from this dealer. Have been a customer there for 40 years.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #364

Sep 052013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

2 out 3 months ago had transmission rebuilt, needle bearing went out on first and second gear. now the over drive light keeps blinking and tired gear kicks in hard with a knock and a jerk. I think it's a solenoid or valve body gasket.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #363

May 022013

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Ford Co. Need to do a recall on their transmission!

- , Mcarthur, OH, USA

problem #362

Apr 172012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,837 miles

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!!!! I HAS TROUBLE SHIFTING INTO GEARS THE O/D LIGHT KEEPS BLINKING IT WILL FOR DEF NEED A NEW SOLENOID PACK IF NOT A NEW TRANSMISSION.

- , Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #361

Jul 262013

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 202,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Recall or fix this problem, there are too many complaints to ignore Ford or you will continue to lose customers...

- , Hickory, MS, USA

problem #360

Apr 022010

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

its so unfair that the ford co. don't do anything about it. I had other cars and the transmission on them seem in very good condition and they were older than this one.

What's up with ford company it started with this problem a long time ago close to the time the build it, but ford didn't do anything about it no satisfy customer here I tell you.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #359

Dec 252012

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

they need to fix it, the tramission are messing, the back glass dont shut, speed control dont work, 4x4 dont work... all i have ever own was a ford explorer but after this one i dont know if i will ever buy another one

- , Hobbsville, NC, USA

problem #358

Mar 152013

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,780 miles

O/D light would come on and keep blinking. This occurred along with the transmission revving up and going no where and not wanting to shift. I was told I need a new transmission.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #357

May 042012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I think it's stupid that there's so many complaints and they won't do a recall!!! Transmissions aren't cheap

- , Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #356

Feb 062013

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

As I was driving one day I noticed my o/d light blinking. I began researching the issue only to find ALL the complaints from the majority of Explorer owners. I have now began a petition to make Ford recognize their wrong in this situation and demand they help financially. PLEASE sign the petition so we, meaning you as well because you most likely wouldn't be reading this if you weren't experiencing problems, can get our vehicle fixed to be the reliable ABC dependable vehicle we purchased and was promised it would be.

Click j this link and sign :http://www.change.org/petitions/ford-motor-company-create-a-recall-to-repair-the-transmission-in-the-2000-2004-explorer-2

- , Sanford, NC, USA

problem #355

Jan 292013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,030 miles

I bought this vehicle with 198000+ on it. The transmission started slipping as I was going up a long hill doing about 45 and dropped out of O/D - with the light blinking - and CHECK TRANSMISSION on the dash. Took it to the local "FORD" dealer. Initial estimate $190 - for a fluid change, and inspection of the issue. Code kicked out as "Solenoid B - Malfunction". After pulling valve body, problem still not found. $800 and climbing. Transmission removed from vehicle, and torn down to inspect. Problem turned out to be the Solenoid BORE was somehow "scored" - with a groove and needs to be repaired. Extended Warranty company wouldn't cover it (another scam). 2 Days into it, the bill is now at least $2750 - to REPAIR - not REBUILD - or Remanufacture. FORD Motor Company will be getting a call from one P###D off customer. I was about to drive CROSS COUNTRY for a new job - and now - I need to scramble for repair costs. I understand it's a high mileage vehicle - but I can't even take this one to the "USED CAR" dealer I bought it from - lemon laws in Oregon don't cover used vehicles. My advice would be to tell everyone to avoid this model year -- Eddie Bauer edition - 4x4, and very costly to maintain....Owned it for 60 days and already have to spend better than HALF of the purchase price to repair a pre-existing yet undetected problem. Is this how FORD stays in business? It's BS -- and I wish they would pony up some of the cost to fix something that they obviously know is an issue.

- , Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #354

Mar 272013

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

Seems to be a common problem, going to see what it will cost to fix, can't see putting $2000 or $3000 into the car

- , Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #353

Feb 262013

Explorer ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 210,000 miles

This is second time this problem has occurred and is clearly do to poor design. This should have been recalled long ago but, money talks and bull sh*t walks...literally.

- , Edgewater, MD, USA

problem #352

Feb 182013

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

I've seen a lot of problems with the tranny going out on the 2002 Ford Explorer. I've tried everything but it will still cost me $2500. I don't want to continue to keep throwing money in this truck when it will keep failing me. Ford really needs to recall this tranny.

- , Clarksville, IN, USA

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